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Origins: Cobbler and the Crow

Steve Gardham 25 Nov 12 - 03:45 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 25 Nov 12 - 04:05 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 25 Nov 12 - 04:07 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Nov 12 - 05:54 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 25 Nov 12 - 07:04 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Nov 12 - 10:48 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 26 Nov 12 - 12:39 PM
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Subject: Origins: Cobbler and the Crow
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 03:45 PM

Sheer curiosity, nothing more. I have this song in 2 publications, one in one of those BBC Singing Together booklets for schools, Spring 1965 where it is stated to be an English traditional song. The other is in Sing Together 100 Songs for Unison Singing pub by OUP, 1967. Both sources credit C. C. Birchard & Co.. Reprinted from 'Our Land of Song'. This source gives it as American traditional which is the more likely. The song is in none of my indexes or Roud or the DT. Can anyone come up with another version or better beckground info. It's not related to the Tailor and the Crow though it has similarities.


There was a merry cobbler busy as a bee
Lily, lily, lily, lily, lido,
When an old black crow came and perched upon the tree
With its qua! qua! qua! qua! lily, lily, lily, lily, lido.

Now wife you go and drive yon dusty crow away
Or he'll perch and croak till the ending of the day.

The cobbler's wife she tried to drive away the crow,
But the more she tried the more he wouldn't go.

Then spoke the merry cobbler at the close of day,
'If the crow won't go we shall have to let him stay.'


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cobbler and the Crow
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 04:05 PM

Steve

A google books search shows There Was A Merry Cobbler in I. H. Meredith, Grant Colfax Tullar: Songs Sacred And Secular for Male Voices, 2004 and (more usefully I suspect) Minnie Earl Sears, Phyllis Crawford: Song index: an index to more than 7000 songs in 104 song collections(Page 310, 1934 and pub.The H. W. Wilson company Children's song index:
an index to more than 22,000 songs in 189 collections comprising 222 volumes
(Page 693), 1936. Sadly there are no previews available so it's not possible to see what the references are to in the last two index volumes.

But then I found this index entry: The Cobbler And The Crow at Johns Hopkins. The composer is given as Alfred Brooks, 1869 and there are images of the sheet music at that link. You should be able to get a pdf from Levy I think, but it's not responding for me at the moment.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cobbler and the Crow
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 04:07 PM

PS: I hadn't noticed you'd put the song title in the thread title. If I had I'd have found it sooner! (Must remember to read everything).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cobbler and the Crow
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 05:54 PM

Brilliant, Mick as always. Many thanks. Mudcat comes up trumps again.
The original does seem to be a parody on 'The Carrion Crow' as he tries to shoot the crow and instead shoots his wife. The version I posted has obviously been cleaned up for children.


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: THE COBBLER AND THE CROW (A Brooks)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 07:04 PM

Pleasure Steve.

In the interest of completeness here's the lyrics and the tune.

Mick



THE COBBLER AND THE CROW
(Alfred Brooks)

Once there was a cobbler, busy as a bee,
  Lily, lily, lily, lily, lido,
When an old black crow came perch'd upon a tree,
  With his qua! qua! qua! qua!
  Lily, lily, lily, lily, lido.


Wife now go and fetch my good old blunderbuss
And I'll shoot yon crow for so much annoying us

The cobbler miss'd his aim, to hit the crow did fail
But he shot the poor donkey right through the head and tail

The Cobbler could not shoot, no, not to save his life
He tried to shoot the crow but he shot his darling wife
  (Spoken after 3rd V: And there sat the old crow without a feather ruffled)

Now having shot his wife it fill'd his heart with woe
So the Cobbler shot himself because he could not shoot the crow


Source: Sheet music images from the Johns Hopkins link above. Music says "As sung by Wm H. Lee". Music dated 1869



X:1
T:The Cobbler And The Crow
C:Alfred Brooks
B:Sheet music at Johns Hopkins (1869)
L:1/8
M:4/4
Q:"Allegro Moderato"
K:C
c>Bc>d c2 G2|E>FG>E C2 z2|
w:Once there was a cob-bler, bu-sy as a bee,
C>DE>F G>AG>E| D4 C2
w:Li-ly, li-ly, li-ly, li-ly, li-do,
c>d|e2 e2 d2 d2|c>ed>c {/c}B2
w:When an old black crow came perch'd up-on a tree,
AG|{/c}B6 z2|{/c}B6 z2|{/c}B6 z2|{/c}B6 z2|
w:With his qua! qua! qua! qua!
C>DE>F G>AG>E|D4 C2 z2|]
w:Li-ly, li-ly, li-ly, li-ly, li-do.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cobbler and the Crow
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 10:48 AM

Well done, Mick. All we need now to tidy this up is how and when it got rewritten for school kids, and that may be in the book 'Our Land of Song'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Cobbler and the Crow
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 12:39 PM

Levy's back online now and the pdf can be found at The Cobbler And The Crow (pdf 5.9Mb)

Mick


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